Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: sick

What a drag (on my health)

whiling away the hours.
My new home.

I’m afraid this is my new normal, being roughly 60%. Every time I get past that point, something happens that sets me back. For example, last night, and TMI for possibly grossness, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I’m twelve–side note: why are PB&Js considered children’s food?–and a minute later, I had to run to the bathroom. Exploding diarrhea all over the place (hyperbole! I made it to the toilet), and I stayed there for at least ten minutes. A half hour later, I was back again. I went to sleep a bit later, then was jolted awake in the middle of the night (not sure when) because my body was urgently telling me I needed to go. Again. I was more than half-asleep, and I almost fell down on my way to the toilet. I almost fell asleep on the toilet. I almost fell asleep on my way back to the couch. It was a surreal experience. I was basically pooping in my sleep, and I was just happy I made it to the bathroom first.

What was it that did it? My instinct is the peanut butter, but it could be the jelly. In fact, it’s more likely the jelly. I’ve had the peanut butter before, and I’m not sure I’ve had this brand of (blackberry) jelly before. It’s not the bread. I eat that all the time, and it’s not a new loaf. So, I’m going to do a controlled test today. I’m going to eat the jelly on its own, an then I’m going to try the peanut butter. Of course, the fact that I think it’s the peanut butter might unconsciously bias me.

I woke up grumpy and exhausted today. My energy is extremely low, and I just feel so blah. I’ve been trying to write this post for over an hour, and every word is begrudging. It’s not like me at all. I’m verbose to an extreme, and I can usually toss off a two-thousand word post in an hour or so. I currently have 350 words, and I am already running out of steam.

On a related note: I’m struggling with the second book of my current trilogy. The first one is finished. It’s rough as hell, but I really like the energy of it. The second one never really came to life to me, and I’m 92,000 words in. I’m thinking of scrapping it and starting over. I’ve had writer friends incredulous that I would actually throw away whole novels, it’s not an anathema to me. I wouldn’t literally throw it away or delete it; I would simply start another story. I might take some nuggets from the first story, but I would go in a different direction.

Side note to the related note: When I write a novel, I have an outline in my head. I write mysteries, and going into it, I know the perp, the victim, and the motive. I don’t always know how I get from Point A to Point B, but I know in broad strokes what my chain of events will be. I’ve had times when the motive has changed or shifted as I’ve written, but for the most part, the motive I go in with is the same one that remains at the end–more or less.

In this case, I started the first novel with a firm idea of all of the above. I even know mostly how I was going to get from Point A to Point B. About halfway through the novel, an idea came to me that I couldn’t ignore. It led to the main thesis of the second novel, and it recast everything in the first novel in a different light. Of course, I had to keep in mind that the first novel had to be able to read on its own. I finished the first novel with the second one in mind, and I was excited when I started the second.

Goddamn it. I just can’t today. I’m so tired and bone-weary. And my innards are still grumbling. That’s all for today.

It’s All in My (Stuffy) Head

I’ve woken up on the wrong side of the couch for the past several days. You know how some days everything gets on your last goddamn nerve? The cat is a bit too insistent in his mewing (stop pressing your cold wet nose on my bare flesh, Shadow!); the coffee is a tad too bitter, no matter how much sugar I add; I don’t want to do my morning regime; the sun is too damn bright, etc. I’m grumpy, and I know it’s irrational. My patience, which is already short, is even shorter, and I’ve snapped at the people around me though they’ve done nothing wrong. I usually have a sarcastic voice running through my brain, but I’m careful not to give voice to it to often. In the past few days, I’ve been less able to keep it under wraps, and I’m trying to bite my tongue rather than go off on people who don’t deserve it.

I went off on a rant in taiji yesterday about not having children. Now, I’m pretty clear in general that I’ve never wanted children. I’m comfortable with saying I’m gleeully childfree. But, for whatever reason, as we were talking about having kids (me, my teacher who also never wanted children, and one other classmate, an older Indian woman who does not have bio-children of her own), I was getting riled up and said the idea of having children repulsed me. I immediately felt bad about it because I don’t know if my classmate is childfree by choice or not, and I clarified that it was just repulsive to me, not that I thought it was repulsive in general. It’s true that I am repulsed by the idea of having children, but it’s not something I normally would say or needed to say.

I got really mad at someone driving slowly in the left lane and screamed some really nasty things at them (not directly as I was behind them, but yeah, not cool). It’s one of my pet peeves, but normally, I just sigh loudly and deal with it.  At Cubs, I was miffed by the person who parked their cart in the exact middle of the aisle, and at the co-op, by the person who was blocking the (walking) lane with his person and didn’t move an inch as I approached. Again, these are pet peeves of mine, but I normally just shrug and move on with my day. I didn’t say anything to either of these people, but the snark in my head was real, yo.

Not by coincidence, I’ve also woken up with my ears being messed up these last few days. I tend to have ear problems in that they get crusty, then I pick at the crustiness, and then they scab over. I pick at the scabs, which of course makes it worse. I also have a stuffy nose, which I initially thought it was allergies, but now I think may be a precursor to sinus troubles. In addition, whenever I shift my head too suddenly, I’ve gotten really dizzy. I asked my taiji teacher about it, and she said it could be sinus issues. I’ve had issues with dizziness all my life, but it’s usually just a little bit and only very rarely. Having it three days in a row and pretty violently is unusual and disconcerting.

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I’m slowly and painfully getting better, but it’s like climbing Mount Everest. I still feel as if my face is getting chewed off, and I’m bone tired. Sorry there is no POOG post today. Here is a video of Maru sleeping on his back on the couch. He kinda looks like me.

If you’re going out drinking because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, be safe and smart about it!

Dragging My Ass

Very sick. So tired. Not feeling like doing much other than posting a video of Shazam, a black leopard*, meeting Nikita, a white tiger. If big cats of different colors can get along, why can’t we? Also, The Wildcat Sanctuary is a nonprofit that takes care of big cats (and some small ones) and provides them as wild a life as possible, including minimal human contact and no contact with the public in general. I donate to them monthly, and I don’t mind pushing their cause all day long. Donate to them if you’re so inclined and are able!



*I love black big cats as much as I love black cats in general.

Still Sick

I still feel like a wood chipper is attacking my face, so no post today. Here is Shironeko being used as a pillow by his fellow cats. I wish I had a Shironeko pillow, even if it is ambulatory.


Rising From the Dead

i'm fine, no really, cough, cough.

The last two mornings, I have woken up and not felt like complete shit. I’ve been able to make it to the bathroom without feeling as if I’ve run a marathon, and I’ve made it to and back from taiji without wanting to cry. In addition, I’ve gone grocery shopping without becoming exhausted, and I’ve actually had some decent sleep* for a change. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but after the last two weeks I’ve had, I count it as a victory. I hate getting sick because it reminds me how fragile my body actually is, and no matter how much I work on making it better, it can still falter at any given moment.

I am the biggest baby when I’m sick. I tend to be stoic in nature most of the time for several reasons. I’m Taiwanese; I’m Minnesotan; I was raised that way. When I’m sick, though, all that flies out the window. All I can do is whine about how shitty I’m feeling, and to make matters worse, my cat doesn’t even care! As long as I feed him on time and give him the love he wants, he could care less that I’m languishing on my last legs. I kid, and I’m not entirely fair to him. He helps by sitting on my legs to warm them. Granted, he kneads biscuits for several minutes before actually sitting down, but I’ll take what I can get, cough, cough. He’s not very helpful when I need a cup of tea, either. His lack of opposable thumbs makes it difficult to slice the lemon and ginger and pour the honey, but he could at least pretend he’s willing to do it instead of looking at me disdainfully before licking his asshole.

That’s the one time I wish I had someone living in the house with me–not the licking the asshole part, although….anyway. I mentioned it before that I like living alone, but it’s hard when I’m sick. I don’t want to get off the couch, let alone leave the house. I think part of the reason I get so whiny is that I try to think of others most of the time, but being sick strips all that away. It’s Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs in action. If you don’t have your health, you really can’t think of much else. It’s not a good look, but that’s the upside to living alone–I’m the only witness to my childishness.** If someone had been privy to my inner thoughts during the last two weeks, they would have heard something like this (in a very whiny voice): “I haaaaate being sick. Why do I have to be sick? Ugh. I have no energy. I should just sleep. I can’t sleep. Shadow, don’t sit on my chest. I can’t breathe. Shadow! Get down! Fine. Stay there. I should probably get off the couch. Fuck it.”
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Sick, Tired, and Sick and Tired

Before I talk about my health, which I’m going to do at length, I want to add to my post of yesterday about what you can do to protest this administration. If you’re a Republican in a Republican state who is appalled by what is going on, you can have more impact on your legislators than I can. I know there are sensible Republicans out there who have given up on their party. I can understand why, but your party needs you. More to the point, your country needs you. Please do what you can to slow down or stop this train wreck.

Back to my health. I thought I was getting better, then I wasn’t. Then I rebound a bit, but now I’ve crashed again. My nose and throat are clogged. I have bloody boogers (literally. I’m not being British right now). I’m coughing and feeling very low energy. My temperature is very low, even when I feel like I have a fever. My normal temp is 97.5. Right now, it’s hovering between 95.9 and 96.9. I’m convinced this has to do with my hypothyroid meds being lowered. If I don’t feel better in the next day or two, I’m calling my doctor.

I’ve managed to do my morning routine every day, but I’ve had to cut it back because I’m just so fucking tired. I went to class yesterday, and we did just the right amount of taiji, but I was exhausted when I got home. I stopped at the co-op on the way home, and that just about put me over the edge. I spent most of last night on the couch, which made Shadow (my cat) happy because he could just lump around on my legs as I rested. Which he’s doing right now, actually.

I finished watching all of the episodes of The Great British Bake Off that I could, um, freely watch, if you get my drift. I watched some Chopped, but I was missing that baking goodness. I didn’t know there were other versions of the Bake Off show, and I tried all that I could find. Irish, American, South African, and Australian. There almost exact clones of the original, but they’re like low fat food–not very filling. What’s interesting about the Australian version is that the second season has an entirely different cast than the first season. After watching the first episode of the first season, I understood why. The male host was fine when he wasn’t mugging it up, but the female host was, not good. In addition, the female judge (Kerry Vincent) was horrible. I know the shtick is to be stern and foreboding, but there’s a difference between exacting and being a complete bitch. She was downright mean, and it was hard to watch. Paul Hollywood, one of the judges from the original, is constantly being teased for being mean, but he’s not. He’s firm and he has high standards, but he’s never cruel.

In the second season of the Australian version, the two (now female) hosts are pale copies of the two original hosts. They’re comedians (as are the originals) who make bad baking puns (as do the originals), but they don’t have the charm. The judges are great, though, which is arguably more important. I’m on the second episode, but I’m not sure I’ll watch the rest of the season. It’s just so unsatisfying after watching the original. I don’t feel invested in any of the bakers, and the show kind of limps along. I might go back to watching Chopped instead.

I’m grumpy because I’ve been sick for so damn long. Every time i get better, I get worse again. I’m wondering if it’s something other than the flu or a cold, although both can last a long time. I’m also pretty sure that the stress of the past few months is part of the problem. I have a wonky immune system in the first place, and my grief isn’t helping matters. I’m also blaming my cold/flu/whatever on visiting my doctor right before I got sick. Not only are clinics a hot bed of germs, they asked me if I wanted a flu shot, and I said no. I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself, but the few times I’ve actually gotten a flu shot, I’ve gotten the flu. After the third time that happened, I looked it up and discovered that doctors pick six strains they think are going to be prevalent in the upcoming year and that’s what the flu shot is aimed at stopping/slowing down. There are many more strains than that, of course, so you’re not completely inoculated with the shot.

I hate feeling like shit. I hate being a baby about it. I hate not wanting to ever get out of bed.

I’m going to meditate on Shironeko while I’m resting and try to emulate his chill.

The Mind is Willing, But the Body Says, “Hell, NO!”

Last night, I was lying on the couch, and I felt my flu ‘break’. I had a moment of relief before the crud* fill my nose and my throat. Before, I mostly felt exhausted, alternated between chills and hot flashes, and had absolutely no energy. I also had headaches and no appetite. I dealt with it by resting as much as I could and drinking all the honey ginger lemon tea I could stand. It was horrible to wake up feeling enervated. I considered it an accomplishment to make it to the bathroom without staggering.

When the flu broke last night, I was relieved. It’d been over a week, and I felt it was about goddamn time. Then, not a minute later, my nose started to fill with snot, and my throat got clogged. I knew immediately that a cold, like a silent assassin waiting in the wings, had set upon me just as my flu left. Needless to say, I am not happy. I’m tired, stuffed up, and coughing sporadically.

I had planned on writing a long screed on what is currently happening in this mockery we call democracy, but I’m just not up to it. I will do it tomorrow as I have a hunch the travesty will still be happening–along with the protests. I skipped my last two taiji classes as well as four in two weeks (total). It’s frustrating to have absolutely no energy, no matter how much or how little sleep I get.

I’m down. I’m depressed. I’m watching another season of The Great British Bake Off (and, yes, there’s another waif-like type of whom I feel VERY protective).

Here are two of my favorite things–Maru and snow. Two videos of him in the fluffy white stuff. In the first, he’s wearing a darling blue raincoat. It’s so cute. In the second, he slides in a sled, and it’s even cuter.

Part two:

*Technical term, of course.

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

Hello, I am on the mend, but I’m still dragging my flat yellow ass around. I’ve decided to take one more day off (and the weekend) before returning to blogging. I’m still blasting my way through The Great British Bake Off, and I’m almost done with Season Three (on the semi-finals). It’s surprising how attached to the contestants I get, but it’s because they’re so humble and hard-working. There is very little of the macho bullshit I see on American reality shows, and they seem genuinely upset when others are cut. Oh, I know everyone wants to win, but they’re not trying to sabotage each other. In fact, I’ve seen them help each other in times of crisis.

One thing I’ve realized is that at a certain point, some of the contestants stop having fun. There was one woman in Season Two who looked as if she had checked out the second episode in which she was doing poorly. She looked so beat down every time  she presented her baked good, it was as if she’d defeated herself before she even started. When she was cut, she smiled and said she was relieved, and I believed her. The competition is intense, and I actually worry about the mental health of some of the contestants.

Here is the Christmas special videos of The Great British Bake Off. Enjoy!

Part two: